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What questions should you never ask in a job interview?

If you are an employee or an employer, it is essential to know what can be discussed in an interview situation.

From inquiries that sound discriminatory, to questions that are too closed to get a deep enough answer, you must be able to get the most from the short time you have in an interview.

How old are you?

Age is one of the many questions that can be considered discriminatory. In fact, asking about most personal details is off-limits.

Personal attributes include questions about your gender, ethnicity or sexuality. This is because it will generally have no bearing on your ability to perform in the role.

In very few situations, it is legal to ask about age. For example, it would be lawful to check someone’s age if you’re trying to establish if they’re entitled to a youth wage.

This means that most questions about unnecessary personal attributes should be off-limits. For example, the following questions will usually be unreasonable in most interviews:

  • Are you in a same-sex relationship?
  • How old are you?
  • What’s your ethnic background?
  • What religion are you?
  • Are you pregnant or planning to start a family?
  • Who do you vote for?
  • Do you have a physical or mental disability?

There are some exceptions.

Only if it is not discriminatory, and directly related to the role.

For example, if a person was applying for a role at a warehouse that requires heavy lifting or standing for a long time. In this case, it would be lawful and reasonable to ask about their ability to perform the role. 

Are you a team player?

This is both a leading and a closed, yes or no question. The interviewee will almost always answer yes, as that is the obvious desired answer. To get the most out of the limited time you have with a candidate, you need to get a deeper insight into how they work.

Instead, ask for an example of when they worked in a team together on a successful project. Also, ask about a time they worked in a team that had some issues, and how they were resolved.

The same goes for “Are you a good communicator?” or “Are you good at good at time management?”

What can you do if you’re asked a question that you think may lead to discrimination?

If you are being interviewed and you are asked something that may seem discriminatory, then you can ask the interviewer about why they feel it is relevant. For example, you could ask, “why do you feel this is relevant to me being able to perform in this role?”

Do you want to learn more about how HOBAN can assist you in navigating the interview process? Please get in touch today https://www.hoban.com.au/contact-us/

For more information, you can also read extra details from the experts at Seek.com

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